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Memorial Day: Parades, remembrance, and the unofficial start of summer!

May 25th, 2022

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Hollywood Dental Center wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those who have passed away serving the country, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks. In America, Memorial Day has come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Lufkin area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Drs. Rose Ralph and Hayley McClendon!

Celebrate National Dental Care Month with us!

May 23rd, 2022

Happy National Dental Care Month! We celebrate dental health every day here at Hollywood Dental Center by educating patients on how to care for their teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. We also give recommendations on dental products for patients to use at home as well as help them understand the impact that their diet and overall health have on their mouth.

It’s so important for everyone to stay on top of their oral health care routine. Just like anything else in and on your body, if you don't care for it properly, problems arise. Teeth and gums need to be well maintained by proper cleaning and proper use (ie: eating a well-balanced diet and protecting your teeth from trauma like clenching or grinding).

To maintain a good daily oral health routine, we recommend eating a low sugar diet, brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, and flossing each night after your daily brush. In terms of your dental health accessories, the American Dental Association recommends a toothbrush be replaced every 3-4 months due to the wear on the bristles. A worn toothbrush isn't as effective at cleaning.  For water flossers tips and other adjunct dental care products, take a look at the manufacturer's instructions for use on when to replace them.

Mouthwash is also important for your oral health routine. Mouthwash has a therapeutic use in patient's oral health routine and can provide many benefits such as: reducing the risk of tooth decay, reducing plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth), reducing gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, and of course freshening your breath.

Not only are we celebrating National Dental Care Month, but we are also raising awareness for Root Canal Day on May 11th! Root canals happen when someone has irreversible nerve damage due to deep/large decay (bacterial infection) or trauma. This is when we come in with our root canal therapy to save the affected tooth.

There are a lot of misconceptions about root canals and the procedure as a whole. Educating patients on the realities of root canals is something we pride ourselves on. Explaining how we are doing the treatment, giving accurate expectations for post-treatment discomfort, and informing patients on the total costs associated with replacing a tooth are some of the things that we review with patients every time they come in for a root canal procedure.

To avoid getting to the point of a root canal we suggest not letting decay go untreated because the bacteria multiply and get worse and begin to affect the nerve of the tooth. Often a root canal could have been avoided if the initial decay first diagnosed had been tended to promptly with the recommended treatment" known as "Fillings".   Also, try to avoid trauma to your teeth! This could be bicycle accidents, sports injuries, clenching/grinding, etc. In addition, wearing an appropriate mouth guard while doing the sport/activity you enjoy is a good protective measure, and could lessen damage in the event of an injury.

If you think you may have any issues with your dental health, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We always offer new patients specials, as well as several payment options or discounts.  For this month's new patient specials and more details, call us at 936.632.4477, our staff is always ready to assist you.

Chipped Your Tooth? Now What?

May 18th, 2022

Accidents happen. Next time you’ll wear your mouthguard when you skateboard, never use your teeth to open anything, and carefully step away from your grandmother’s hard candy dish. But what to do now for your chipped tooth?

First of all, call Hollywood Dental Center. Drs. Rose Ralph and Hayley McClendon and our team can offer tips on dealing with any pain and how to avoid injuring your tooth further. Make an appointment to see us as soon as possible, where one of the following options might be the best treatment for you:

  • Bonding

If the chip is small, you might be a good candidate for bonding. A tooth-colored resin is applied to the damaged area with adhesive, molded to shape, and then hardened with a curing light. It is then polished and, if necessary, further shaped to match your surrounding teeth.

  • Porcelain Veneer

A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain individually molded for your tooth. If the chip is too large for bonding, or if you would like a more translucent finish, a veneer might be appropriate. During your first appointment, some of the tooth structure will be gently removed to accommodate the size of the veneer. A mold will be taken and sent to a lab for the creation of the veneer, which will be bonded to your tooth on a later visit. Whether a veneer will be successful depends on several variables, such as the condition of the tooth and enamel, your bite, and whether you grind your teeth. We will take all these factors into consideration in discussing possible treatments.

  • Crown

A large chip or pain when eating or drinking might mean that you need a crown. This “cap” will protect your tooth from the pressures of chewing as well as restoring its appearance. On your first visit, some of the tooth structure will probably be removed to make room for the crown, impressions will be taken for the dental lab to make a permanent crown, and a temporary model will be fitted to your tooth. In a following visit the permanent crown will be adhered to your tooth.

If the crack has extended to the pulp of the tooth, you might need a root canal. If this is necessary, we will discuss the procedure during our exam.

No matter the size of the chip, it is important to contact our Lufkin office immediately to help avoid infection and prevent further damage. If your tooth is broken below the gumline or otherwise seriously compromised, more intensive care will be necessary. But when a minor accident happens, prompt treatment can quickly restore your smile to health.

What is a crown?

May 11th, 2022

Drs. Rose Ralph and Hayley McClendon and our team at Hollywood Dental Center hear this question all the time. Millions of people have dental crowns that artificially restore the chewing surface of a tooth. Also known as caps, these restorations surround the entire portion of the tooth that is above the gum line. Crowns are custom fabricated to match the color, shape, and size of other teeth and are visually undetectable to others. Several types of materials can be used to create crowns, including stainless steel, resin, metal alloys, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramic. When properly cared for and accurately fit, crowns can stay in place for a decade or more.

There are many reasons to get a dental crown, including:

  • To restore a broken or cracked tooth
  • To protect a tooth after a root canal
  • To restore a severely decayed tooth
  • To help anchor a dental bridge
  • To complete a dental implant
  • To protect a tooth that is at high risk for developing decay
  • For cosmetic purposes

Getting a dental crown

The process of getting a dental crown begins at our Lufkin office. X-rays are used to ensure the teeth are healthy enough to receive a crown. If the roots and surrounding bone are in satisfactory condition, the tooth will be numbed, filed, and reshaped in preparation for the crown. If the tooth root is not healthy, a root canal may be necessary first.

After the tooth is prepared, a special paste is placed over the upper and lower teeth to make impressions. These impressions serve as blueprints for the dental laboratory responsible for making the crown. They also help ensure the position of the new crown will not negatively affect a patient’s bite. The prepared tooth is protected by a temporary crown while the permanent one is made. When ready, the permanent crown replaces the temporary crown and is cemented in place.

To learn more about crowns, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Rose Ralph and Hayley McClendon, please give us a call at our convenient Lufkin office!

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